Henry Rodriguez
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Our first game of Carthage was a hoot! We made some mistakes, but feel we got most of the core rules down. I so love operational level games compared to tactical (though strategic still leads the pack). And here we got to explore classical times, both Belisarius88's and my favorite period. Well, let me begin...

241 BC

Matho, Spendius, Antaritus & their fellow melting pot of mercenaries grew tired of being played for fools by those shameless curs, the Magonids. They took control of the town of Sicca Veneria, looting its food reserves. Antaritus convinced his fellows to head east and spread dissent amongst Carthage's neighboring towns. The goal was to demand the immediate surrender of the town and draw new recruits to the anti-Carthage cause.

Antaritus led the mercenary army to Thugga, but could not persuade its leaders to follow their just cause. Southeast they ventured to Zama and, upon a slightly stronger show of force, convinced the local governor to lend a hand. Libyans joined the fight and Antaritus backtracked west to Musti. The Musti governor felt the winds of change and altered his course to the mercenary cause. Antaritus laid back and enjoyed a much needed break [failed continuation].

Hanno the Great received word of these impetuous and not too bright mercenaries wreaking havoc inland. Now Hanno's nickname must refer, not to his military genius, but rather his bulk; for his forces moved inland to Thugga and set up a base of operations, proceeding to eat the governor out of house and home. [Hanno failed continuation]

Matho then spurred his mercenaries to greater plebian glory by taking the army south to Macteris [Hanno failed an intercept roll] and Sufes. Matho was still polishing his oratory skills for only the Macterians joined them. [Matho failed continuation]

Spendius took the mantle of leadership. Sufetula was properly intimidated by the growing mercenary force. With winter coming, the mercenaries stayed put [failed continuation].

240 BC

The mercenaries took the initiative. An invigorated Spendius, along with Matho, took the majority of the army toward Carthage. He obtained the surrender of Curusi, Carpi and Tunes [and then failed continuation].

Antaritus, leaving Sufetula in the early summer, covered much ground with only 10 units of Libyans [leaving one unit in this town and all of the towns below]. Capsa and Gigithis were rightfully convinced by his righteous words. However, Tacape and Taparura held true to their Carthaginian allegiances. No matter, for Antaritus cowed the leaders of Thisbrus and, after a short siege [due to an Attrition LAM drawn after the Matho LAM below], Thapsus.

Matho followed and, deciding not to risk a protracted siege in or near the city of Carthage, headed south. Hadrumentum fell. Before forcibly convincing the leaders of Leptis, Matho adopted all of the new recruits in Antaritus' army. These towns increased the numbers of the mercenary army greatly [to some 65 units, including 8 units of cavalry]. Such success was celebrated with debauchery and revelry within Leptis [failed continuation].

Hanno the Great, waiting for the summer harvest to supply his army, not to mention his girth, headed southeast to the coastal town of Hadrumentum to bring them back into the Carthaginian fold. After success, he south to Thisbrus where Hanno failed to obtain a surrender but then placed the town under siege [The mercs nearly decided to intercept, but decided to do so only if Hanno threatened Antaritus' force].

[Subsequent siege attrition caused no casualties to the Thisbrus garrison]

239 BC

Fearing the growing mercenary army, the Carthaginian leadership called on the services of Naravas and recalled Hamilcar Barca from Sicily. However, despite the inept leadership of Hanno, the Magonid family retained power.

Naravas the lean was quick to bring his elite cavalry to bear by moving from Bulla Regia to Hadrumentum, just north of the large mercenary force.

[siege attrition caused no casualties at Thisbrus]

Hamilcar followed Naravas' force south and laid siege to the large, treasonous army in Leptis. [The mercs attempted, and failed, to intercept Hamilcar for fear of his joining his force with Hanno. There was some worry about double envelopment by Naravas' force, but a worthwhile risk]

Hamilcar [2nd LAM], wishing to capture an unprepared force and gain glory for the Barca family, used all his cunning to craft a traitorous plot for loyalists in Leptis to open the city gates. Little did Hamilcar know that there were no loyalists left in Leptis. ninja The ruse was a masterful mercenary plot that led to the assassination of Hamilcar. zombie

Taking the opportunity that a lack of Barcan leadership presented, Antaritus ventured back to Taparura to gather more Libyans [taking 13 + 1 cav, leaving 1 unit at Thapsus]. Hanno showed unnatural speed by moving his army south to intercept the much smaller mercenary force outside of Taparura's walls. Hanno routed Antaritus' army, sending it's disorganized remnants west along the coast in retreat [Hanno's +8 led to a loss of 4 units, though I took a cavalry loss instead of 2 infantry; another unit was run down by Carthage's cavalry].

[Without replacement leaders, Hamilcar's 3rd LAM was wasted]

Spendius took the African bull by the horns and carried his mercenary force northward [leaving 1 infantry garrison at Leptis]. Naravas wisely chose to not intercept the vastly superior mercenary force [6-1 advantage]. Spendius decided it best to lay siege to the city of Carthage. sauron

[Siege attrition LAM resulted in no losses for both die rolls were '0']

Matho then assaulted the city with greater than 6-to-1 odds, which resulted in a quick overrunning of the walls at numerous points [automatic success due to leader +1]. laugh

Hanno the Fat earned his new name. shake The mercenary cause was true and the gods turned there backs on these Punic curs.
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Michael Sosa
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Ha, Hamilcar met an unfortunate fate when the loyalist plot was uncovered but it is incredible that no leader of note could gain control of his veteran army. Surely a teenage Hannibal or his older brother was around to obtain Barcid revenge?! A same hex interception would have sent the pack of murderous mercenaries fleeing to the desert wastelands.

The question here is whether Hanno could have used a guile point when he was activated to bring in a replacement leader. The scenario indicates there are no replacement leaders but the actual replacement leader rule appears to allow for other leaders to be brought in.

I asked the specific question here: http://geekdo.com/article/5014217#5014217
 
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Mick Weitz
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Nice recap, thanks for the battle report on a wonderful game. Losing Hamilcar is about impossible to bounce back from for the Carthaginians in this scenario. The Mercenary War is tricky, but if you keep a couple rules in mind, things clear up quickly.

For the mercs, involuntary surrender of cities is crucial, as demonstrated above in the bat rep.

For Carthage, "overrun" is critical. Once Hamilcar arrives with his veteran army, he WILL defeat any of the mercenary commanders in open battle. If he gets them down far enough, the "overrun" rule takes care of both the army and it's leader. Remember, overrun leaders are dead without exception...

Carthage just doesn't have the time to retake all the cities "involuntarily surrendering" to the mercs. The best path to victory is the death of the rebel leaders.

Good Gaming~! Mick
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Martí Cabré

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In my first game the Mercs could not involuntary surrender the first city, they failed continuation, the Carthaginian LAM was next and they won a battle against the Mercs. Game over.
 
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Henry Rodriguez
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Archilochus wrote:
Nice recap, thanks for the battle report on a wonderful game.


Thanks Mick. Certainly, depending on the success level of the Mercs, Carthage can be hard pressed to prevent the Mercs from winning. Time can be against them unless Hamilcar promptly puts down the main merc force upon arriving.

And Marti, that is some bag luck there! Did you switch sides with your opponent to see if he could do much better?

Henry R.
 
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Martí Cabré

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callidusx3 wrote:
And Marti, that is some bag luck there! Did you switch sides with your opponent to see if he could do much better?
Henry R.


Yep, we played a couple more, and the result was more even.
If the mercs get a good first turn, then Carthage may be in a problem to hamper all the little fires in the territory.

I think that this system is more prone to simulation than to game, and to be fair with it you must play a rather long scenario or a good number of games, to let the dice even.

Otherwise, you could find that the dice have more importance than your strategy, as in my first game. Remember that I said that playing more times the same scenario, things got even.
 
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Michael Sosa
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I agree this first scenario is more simulation than game but as a learning scenario it is great. You learn the basics and you do have plenty of decision making. It is good for a few games before the decisions become repetitive.
 
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